Don’t let its bright name fool you, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is a dark show. Dark, but also utterly hilarious. It’s about five misfit friends, Charlie, Dee, Dennis, Mac and Frank, who own a bar in the city of Philadelphia, and it basically showcases all the wacky shenanigans that they get up to from episode to episode. Think of it as part sitcom, part live-action cartoon. The show first aired back in 2005, and after pretty poor viewing figures for the first season, Hollywood legend Danny DeVito was drafted in as a regular cast-member, and it has been going strong ever since. In fact, the show’s fifteenth season has just started airing, making it the longest running live-action comedy series in American television history.
With so many episodes in their back catalogue then, we thought we’d sieve through them and choose three of the funniest episodes to watch, and if you haven’t seen them, stop being such a jabroni and get on it right now.
Charlie Goes America All Over Everybody’s A-$ (S2:E9)
This episode comes right near the end of season two, which was, as previously mentioned, when Danny DeVito joined the cast. The show really found its feet this season, and both the writing and acting jumped up in quality in comparison to the first. This is definitely the season where everything clicked into gear for IASIP, and it’s because of off the wall episodes like this, that it became so beloved by its die-hard fans.
The story centres on a disagreement between the gang on whether smoking should be outlawed in the bar or not. Mac and Dennis argue that the bar should be a place of unlimited freedom, as that’s what America is built on. However, Dee and Charlie counter that America is great because of its rules and regulations. This leads Mac and Dennis to turn the bar into a place where anything goes, which makes Frank extremely happy, as he sets up a Vietnamese gambling ring in the basement. You won’t be surprised to hear that it quickly descends into utter chaos, and everyone realises that rules and regulations aren’t always so bad.
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The Gang Solves the Gas Crisis (S4:E2)
One of the greatest parts of the show is when the gang try to come up with wacky get-rich-quick schemes, and in this episode in season four, it’s truly one of the most deranged. As the price of gas continues to rocket, Mac, Charlie, and Dennis decide to buy a large amount of it, and try to sell it door-to-door to exploit the crisis. Unfortunately for them, it turns out that normal people don’t want to buy their gas from three random strangers who’ve knocked on their door, even when Charlie does pretend to be a Texas oil-baron.
The funniest part of the episode is watching the five members of the gang try to work out their respective personality types whenever they embark on their hair-brained adventures. After much debate, it’s decided that Mac is the brains, Frank is the muscle, Dennis is the good-looking one, Dee is the ‘annoying chick’ and Charlie is the wildcard. The episode ends in spectacular fashion, with Charlie very much solidifying his wildcard status.
Mac & Dennis Move to the Suburbs (S11:E5)
When watching IASIP, you quickly realise that even though the gang all hang out with each other, they also have totally toxic relationships with one another. One of the best episodes that reflects this toxicity is in season eleven, when Mac and Dennis decide to move to the suburbs. Frank predicts that they’ll never be able to stick it out as they’re ‘city scum’ and so makes a bet that they can’t live together there for a month.
Dennis and Mac slowly begin to unravel mentally as they try to live out their days in the idyllic scenery of the Philadelphia suburbs, and before long the episode rivals Stanley Kubrick’s horror masterpiece, The Shining, for displaying how isolation can greatly affect unhinged people. Needless to say, Frank wins the bet.